“John Wick: Chapter 4” also known as “John Wick: Consequences” in Japan, emerged as a gripping American neo-noir action thriller. Directed and co-produced by Chad Stahelski, with Shay Hatten and Michael Finch handling the script, the film serves as the fourth installment in the John Wick franchise. Keanu Reeves reprises his role as the titular character, supported by a stellar cast including Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, and Laurence Fishburne. Set against the backdrop of revenge against the High Table, John Wick embarks on a relentless quest for vengeance.

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Production spanned from June to October 2021, with filming locations spanning France, Germany, New York City, and Japan. Originally slated for a May 21, 2021 release, pandemic-related delays pushed its debut to March 24, 2023. The film premiered to critical acclaim, lauded for its intense action, stunning cinematography, and stellar performances, grossing $440.1 million globally. Plans for a spin-off titled “Ballerina” and a fifth installment are underway, signaling the enduring legacy of the franchise.



Plot

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In the depths of New York City, John Wick strategizes his vengeance against the High Table while seeking sanctuary with the Bowery King. His journey leads him to Morocco, where he eliminates the Elder, the apex figure of the Table. Marquis Vincent Bisset de Gramont, a member of the High Table, retaliates by summoning Winston, manager of the New York Continental Hotel, and Charon, his concierge, chastising them for previous failures. The Marquis strips Winston of his authority, declaring him “excommunicado” and obliterating the New York Continental. He tasks Caine, a retired assassin, to eliminate John, leveraging threats against Caine’s daughter.

Finding refuge at the Osaka Continental under his friend Shimazu Koji’s management, John faces the Marquis’ enforcer Chidi and his High Table allies. A chaotic clash erupts, leading to a showdown with Caine. Amidst the chaos, a bounty hunter named Mr. Nobody intervenes, allowing John to escape. Despite Koji’s valiant efforts, Caine mortally wounds him, sparing Koji’s daughter Akira.

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Returning to New York, John meets Winston, who proposes a duel to challenge the Marquis, invoking an ancient High Table tradition. To qualify, John must re-establish ties with the Ruska Roma crime syndicate by eliminating Killa Harkan, a High Table agent. With assistance from Caine and Mr. Nobody, John confronts Killa and succeeds, reclaiming his status within the syndicate.

In Paris, the terms of the duel are set at Sacré-Cœur, moderated by the Harbinger. The Marquis nominates Caine as his proxy, while John receives support from the Bowery King. Despite the Marquis’ attempts to thwart John’s arrival, he battles through relentless assaults. At the duel, John and Caine exchange gunfire, culminating in John’s decisive victory over the Marquis.

As a result, John, Caine, and Winston secure their freedom from the High Table’s grasp. Winston is reinstated as Hotel Manager, with the New York Continental set for reconstruction. Reflecting on his past, John seemingly succumbs to his injuries. In a poignant conclusion, Winston and the Bowery King pay their respects at John’s graveside. In a post-credits scene, Caine faces a vengeful Akira in Paris, hinting at unresolved tensions.

Cast of John Wick Chapter 4

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Keanu Charles Reeves John Wick Lance Reddick Charon
Donnie Yen Ji-dan Caine Rina Sawayama Shimazu Akira
Bill Skarsgård Marquis Vincent Marko Zaror Chidi
Laurence Fishburne Bowery King Scott Edward Adkins Killa Harkan
Hiroyuki Sanada Shimazu Koji Clancy Brown Harbinger
Shamier Anderson Mr. Nobody Ian David McShane Winston Scott

Production

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In May 20, 2019, Lionsgate unveiled John Wick: Chapter 4 through their opt-in “John Wick” text service, announcing its arrival for May 21, 2021, with the message, “You have served. You will be of service.” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer later revealed in an August 2020 earnings call plans for both John Wick 4 and 5, aiming for a Memorial Day weekend 2022 release for the former. Director Chad Stahelski hinted at the possibility of a new installment during a Reddit “AMA” thread before the third film’s release, expressing his involvement if the previous film succeeded. While Keanu Reeves’ return wasn’t confirmed initially, he affirmed his commitment to the role, expressing willingness to continue as long as the audience remained interested, stating, “As far as my legs can take me, as far as the audience wants to go,” in an interview with GQ.

  • Writing: The screenplay for the film was crafted by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch. In an interview with Looper magazine, Finch shared insights into his creative process, highlighting the influence of various films on his writing. He noted, “A lot of this begins with Chad being inspired by other films, other genres of film, be it Once Upon a Time in the West, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, or Bullitt, Dirty Harry, or a Zatoichi film.” The character of the blind assassin portrayed by Donnie Yen pays homage to the iconic blind swordsman from the Japanese film series centered around Zatoichi. Additionally, the character name Killa Harkan is a nod to Berlin-based Turkish rapper Killa Hakan.
  • Casting: Upon the announcement of the fourth installment, Keanu Reeves revealed he had commenced training for both John Wick 4 and The Matrix Resurrections. In May 2021, it was disclosed that Rina Sawayama would mark her cinematic debut in John Wick Chapter 4. Her selection stemmed from the necessity for choreography skills, prompted by director Chad Stahelski’s admiration of her music videos showcasing dance and combat in “XS” and “Bad Friend”. Following this, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Shamier Anderson, and Scott Adkins were confirmed to join the cast. Lance Reddick and Ian McShane reprised their roles, with Clancy Brown joining in August 2021.
  • Filming: Commencing on June 28, 2021, principal photography for the film embarked with a budget of $100 million. Filming unfolded across diverse locales including France, Germany, New York City, and Japan. Notably, the Parisian shoot encountered challenges, with French crew members, including the location manager, describing it as arduous. Due to a two-week delay in Germany, director Chad Stahelski faced time constraints for scouting Parisian locations, necessitating improvisation and last-minute changes. Key scenes were captured at iconic spots such as Luxembourg Gardens, the Church of St. Eustache, and the “La Défense Cathedral”. Additionally, a thrilling chase-shootout scene near the Arc de Triomphe was filmed at a defunct airport close to Berlin. The dedication of the location team was lauded, earning them the prestigious 2023 LMGI Award from the Location Managers Guild International. An alternate ending featuring John visiting his own grave was filmed but scrapped after evoking a “violent reaction” from test audiences.

Release

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John Wick: Chapter 4 premiered on March 24, 2023, following its official announcement by Lionsgate during the opening week of Parabellum. Initially slated for a May 21, 2021 release, the film faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Keanu Reeves’ commitments to The Matrix Resurrections, sharing the same release window. Director Chad Stahelski elaborated on the production challenges, citing Reeves’ prior obligations to The Matrix. Consequently, the release date was pushed to May 27, 2022, and later rescheduled to March 24, 2023, partly to avoid competing with Top Gun: Maverick.

The film premiered at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London on March 6, 2023, followed by a special screening at South by Southwest on March 13, 2023. In India, it was dubbed and released in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu, while in South Korea, it premiered on April 12, 2023.



However, Vietnamese authorities informally banned the film due to the presence of Donnie Yen, whose political affiliations with the Chinese government raised controversies related to territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Box Office

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John Wick: Chapter 4 achieved a robust box office performance, grossing $187.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $253 million in other territories, resulting in a worldwide total of $440.1 million.

In its domestic market, the film was anticipated to earn between $65–70 million during its opening weekend from 3,855 theaters. It surpassed expectations by garnering $29.4 million on its first day, including an impressive $8.9 million from Thursday night previews, marking the highest in the series and for any R-rated film since March 2020. Ultimately, it debuted with $73.8 million, clinching the top spot at the box office and setting a new franchise record for the best opening weekend. This achievement also marked Lionsgate’s best opening since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing even Halloween Kills. Additionally, it secured the second-highest opening weekend of the year at that time, following Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Despite a drop of 61.6%, it still garnered $28.3 million in its second weekend, placing second behind Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. In its third weekend, it earned $14.6 million, once again securing the second position, this time trailing The Super Mario Bros. Movie.



Internationally, the film raked in $64 million across 71 markets in its opening weekend and $35 million from 75 markets in the second weekend. By its third weekend, it accumulated $21.5 million. Noteworthy territories contributing to its success as of June 5, 2023, included the United Kingdom ($21.1 million), Germany ($20.7 million), Australia ($16.6 million), South Korea ($15.2 million), and CIS ($14.2 million).

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